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Gathering the Fragments of Myself: A Later-in-Life Coming-of-Age Story of One Woman's Road to Wholeness

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The third of eleven children, Jan Banaszek spends her childhood in the role of fierce protector—striving to shield her younger siblings from the dysfunctional home life created by their father, a volatile man who can snap at any moment. With a loving but subservient mother who looks the other way at her husband’s inappropriate behavior with their daughters, Jan unwittingly The third of eleven children, Jan Banaszek spends her childhood in the role of fierce protector—striving to shield her younger siblings from the dysfunctional home life created by their father, a volatile man who can snap at any moment. With a loving but subservient mother who looks the other way at her husband’s inappropriate behavior with their daughters, Jan unwittingly seeks approval from men for all the wrong reasons. Shy, reserved, and deeply influenced by her strict Catholic upbringing, she continuously struggles with her perception of God and with her own identity, leading her to search for acceptance with people who ultimately betray her—therapists, lovers, friends, and even a spiritual cult. But despite the deep pain and setbacks she experiences, which she recounts with sheer rawness and honesty, she is intent on discovering her place in the world and her connection with the Divine—as well as an intimate relationship that nurtures instead of harms. What she doesn’t know is that it will take nearly six decades to receive those gifts—and for her to trust herself to recognize them when they finally arrive.


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The third of eleven children, Jan Banaszek spends her childhood in the role of fierce protector—striving to shield her younger siblings from the dysfunctional home life created by their father, a volatile man who can snap at any moment. With a loving but subservient mother who looks the other way at her husband’s inappropriate behavior with their daughters, Jan unwittingly The third of eleven children, Jan Banaszek spends her childhood in the role of fierce protector—striving to shield her younger siblings from the dysfunctional home life created by their father, a volatile man who can snap at any moment. With a loving but subservient mother who looks the other way at her husband’s inappropriate behavior with their daughters, Jan unwittingly seeks approval from men for all the wrong reasons. Shy, reserved, and deeply influenced by her strict Catholic upbringing, she continuously struggles with her perception of God and with her own identity, leading her to search for acceptance with people who ultimately betray her—therapists, lovers, friends, and even a spiritual cult. But despite the deep pain and setbacks she experiences, which she recounts with sheer rawness and honesty, she is intent on discovering her place in the world and her connection with the Divine—as well as an intimate relationship that nurtures instead of harms. What she doesn’t know is that it will take nearly six decades to receive those gifts—and for her to trust herself to recognize them when they finally arrive.

31 review for Gathering the Fragments of Myself: A Later-in-Life Coming-of-Age Story of One Woman's Road to Wholeness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda Lou Franklin

    Pageturner! Couldn't put it down until I read it all. This is the warm, open true story of a true seeker, loved it. Pageturner! Couldn't put it down until I read it all. This is the warm, open true story of a true seeker, loved it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan Banashek

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pai Siri Pal

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris Housh

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jan Banaszek

  7. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  10. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wanda C

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary A.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Inna

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Miller

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  22. 5 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sedona Kolchinsky

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diana Skvorak

  26. 4 out of 5

    C K P

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Hohler

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  31. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

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